ASIAN 300 - Love and Death in Japanese Culture
Section: 001
Term: WN 2014
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
A knowledge of Japanese is not required.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Using the central existential questions of love, death, and beauty as thematic foci, this course examines the premodern history of the human being in Japan with the aim of exploring a different past and an other site for the study of the humanities than the one in which technology and profit maximization have now led to the virtual demise of the human as a viable measure of civil life. In the course of reading literature, both canonical and popular, which portray the thematics of love and death, we will analyze key concepts in Japanese cultural history that address issues of good and evil, truth, and "the beautiful." Attention will be paid to questions of interpretation that arise in reading the works of a culture different from the West in its philosophies and religions; in the non-logocentrism of its linguistic usages and artistic expressions; its emphasis on form and ritual as a crucial component of the moral human being. We will also note the existence of various separate cultures — courtly, merchant, craftsman, samurai and priest, actor and geisha, each with its own hierarchy and code of ethics and aesthetics. Class materials will include, apart from the literary works, secondary sources from criticism, history, philosophy and religion, sociology, as well as visual media like painting and film.

ASIAN 300 - Love and Death in Japanese Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780142437148
The tale of Genji, Author: Murasaki Shikibu ; translated by Royall Tyler., Publisher: Penguin Books Deluxe ed. 2003
ISBN: 9780804718035
The tale of the Heike, Author: transl., with an introd., by Helen Craig McCullough., Publisher: Stanford Univ. Press [Nachdr.]. 2005
ISBN: 9781590309858
HAGAKURE : the Book of the Samurai, Author: Yamamoto Tsunetomo ; Translated by William Scott Wilson., Publisher: Shambhala 2002
ISBN: 9781880656204
Bash?'s Narrow road : spring & autumn passages : two works, Author: by Matsuo Bash?. Transl. from the Japanese, with annot., by Hiroaki Sato., Publisher: Stone Bridge Press 1996
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